Two weeks remain until I am "pinned" as a nursing graduate. I have a job interview scheduled for next week. I have moved from my room at the B&B into a townhome I share with one of my nursing school friends. We'll welcome my husband and four cats to the townhome (fondly called "The Dump" - there is much work to be done on it but it meets our basic needs) as soon as he can transfer jobs, likely as soon as July. Almost everything is in order.
And yet, I'm emotionally disorganized. I'm dreaming of my dead parents, of my past, of abandonment, of ex husbands. Monumental dreams. Big ones. Dreams that seem like they carry huge meaning. I wake from them surprised at their depth. I'm quick to weep these days.
I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was 18 and took some prerequisites then. I took more prerequisites when I was in my 40s. I floated from job to job, played hard at life, and ended up as an executive in sales and marketing. I lived the beautiful life surrounded by success and beautiful people, all the while knowing that I didn't fit. That nagging feeling in the back of my mind that whispered "be authentic" was ever-present.
Four years ago I grabbed the hand of my inner child and promised her that we were going to change things. We enrolled in science courses and completed them. We worked hard. We managed to be accepted to a nursing program. We pushed everything else to the back burner and dove in. We kept going when continuing seemed impossible. We leaned heavily on my husband, my sister, my cousin, my friends. We fought and clawed our way through learning to use our body to do work instead of just our mind. We used every single life skill we had learned in 50something years to trudge through two years of mind-boggling academic and physical challenges.
On May 3rd, we will wear a cap and gown. We will wear a gold cord that signifies that we are graduating with honors. My sister and her husband are flying 1500 miles to be here. My cousin and her husband will be driving 160 miles to get here, and a good friend will drive 200 miles.
I was a wild child. I am a recovering alcoholic. My sister tells me that years ago I would tell her that I was coming to visit her, but she learned not to believe me until she saw me pull into the driveway.
On May 3rd, I will pull into my own big driveway. It has been a long, long journey.
I am authentic. I am proud. I am happy. I am amazed. I am home.